There are 5 different types of redirects you need to know about: 301, 302, 303, 307, and 308 redirects.
In this guide, we’ll explain what each redirect translates to and when to use 301 redirect and other redirects:
1. 301 Permanent Redirect (permanent redirect) –
What does this redirect mean? The link you are trying to visit isn’t here anymore. The URL has moved to a new address.
In theory, the server is trying to tell that the files (web page or blog post) at the address have moved to somewhere else permanently. This status usually tells the site owner that old address must be deleted and replaced with the new address.
When to use 301 redirects?
If you are going to delete a page, you can use the 301 redirect to forward visitors to the next location.
If you decide to make one version of the same page (often squeeze page) unavailable in favor of another, you can 301 the former.
2. 302 redirect (temporary redirect) –
A 302 redirect usually translates into: a certain page, a URL address, was here but is unavailable for a moment. So, the visitor has to find the page in the next temporary address or wait for a while until it is available at its original location.
Although 302 redirects were originally meant for different use, many browsers didn’t pay attention to that.
As a result, a new code, 303, was created.
When should you use 302 redirect?
Well, you really don’t have to. If you really need to use 302 redirect, simply call your SEO consultant, explain them what you want to do, and they will do the job for you.
Likewise, if you’re a web programmer and feel that you want to learn more about the 302 redirect, read about the 303 redirect instead.
3. 303 Redirect –
Basically, this redirect tells a user/visitor NOT to refresh the page like crazy and accidentally re-submit their credit card payments more than a single time. So, the 303 redirect sends you to another place while you hold your credit card resubmit and avoid any confusion.
To prevent bookmarking or refreshing of pages holding one-time only data (think of an online payment form), the server answers back with a 303 redirect, which basically means “Well, we have already received your payment information from the form using the POST method; to avoid data accidents, please check out this other URL bringing your data using the GET method in order to be really clear.”
When should you use 303 redirect?
To be honest, we really don’t require using this redirect. However, if you’re a programmer, then you may want to check out the theory under 307 redirect!
4. 307 Temporary Redirect –
Like 303 redirect, this redirect prevents you from refreshing the page (like the payment form) multiple times and accidentally end up paying up more than 10 times. It sends you to another URL, temporarily.
When should you use 307 redirects? Again, you and I don’t require it. For programmer, however, learning about 307 could be handy.
5. 308 Permanent Redirect (experimental) –
This redirect translates into: you can perform the same action you did over there, but you don’t necessarily need to change the way you said it.
When would you use it? You guessed it right! This redirect is not for you and me, but probably for web developers.
Which redirects will be important for me?
You only need to concern about two redirects – the 301 and 302 redirects. You require 301 because it is really what you want to use. Plus, you may want to avoid 302 redirects. So, if you see a 302 redirect on your site, you may want to call someone and find out why and do something about it.
Finally, can you check which type of redirect you’re using?
Of course, yes. The server broadcast this information directly on the browser. Although the information isn’t visible on the page as it is meant for the browser, nonetheless, you can use handy tool like “header checker” to make it visible on your pages to learn more about each redirect.
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